The Price is Wrong: A History of High Launch Prices

Since the birth of gaming there has been one universal factor that can make or break the success of a new product, the price of entry.

Sometimes companies hit their entry price right on the money (see what I did there?) and some times they miss the mark so badly that it leaves a lasting impression on gaming history. It’s time to take a look back at some of the latter and wonder what the hell were they thinking?


1. Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is the latest device to join the ranks of tech goodies that gave consumers a heart attack when they looked at what it would cost to enjoy virtual reality gaming at home. Imagine getting up in the morning all set to buy one of these babies only to bring up the check out page and see it sitting pretty at $600.00, and that doesn’t include the PC to go with it. At least the companies’ founder tried to defend the price point. Kind of.

2. Xbox One


One of the greatest launch blunders in recent history, the Xbox One has seen an incredible one-eighty in the past couple of years. The system that we know now is a far cry from what launched two years ago. Back in 2013, always online DRM, a bad marketing message, and an always awake kinect was not enough to justify the $500.00 price tag at launch for some people, but at least it had seamless integration between games, movies, and television.

3. Playstation 3


Another victim of the third console curse, the Playstation 3 lunched in 2006 and had two price points. The 20GB version cost $500.00 while the 60 GB version was priced at $600.00. Interestingly, the 20 GB version of the PS3 did not include an HDMI port (Sony decided to add one just before launch) and inside the box, consumers could find an AC cord, controller, USB mini-cable, Ethernet cable and a multi-AV cable (no HDMI cable included). It also included a Playstation logo that you could turn depending on whether you wanted your console vertical or horizontal! Totally worth the money.

4. 3DO


Remember this piece of tech? The 3DO was the brain child of Trip Hawkins and was originally intended to be the world’s first multimedia device; it was manufactured by anyone who would sign a 3DO license. The console launched in the fall of 1993 with $700.00 price tag. That’s seven hundred dollars in 1993! Adjusting for inflation, that would make this bad boy cost a wallet smacking $1,095.00. Trip Hawkins would go on to be one of the founders of Electronic Arts and the 3DO would go on to be a foot note in gaming history remembered only for its ridiculous, ridiculous price.

These devices weren’t the first to try to gouge out our wallets and they certainly won’t be the last.


Are there any products you think were too high at launch? Let me know in the comments below.

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